Wednesday, 30 May 2012

An update.

Wow, it's been three months since my last post, and it's been a crazy three months. Very, very busy, but very, very productive.

Still, things are easing off a bit. Not enough that I can actually play any EVE, but enough that I can think about playing EVE. And CCP is doing all it can to lure me back. Have you seen the sexy new missile effects? Of course you have! And did you know that UK subscriptions can now be paid in GBP? Which, with the current state of the Euro, that means I'd be getting my subscription at 25% off over the old price.

Soooooo, I've, ahem, resubscribed.

No, I won't be playing EVE, but I will be skill training. I'm maxing out my last Nav skill first (they were mostly maxed out for the Vengeance, but my MWD skills languished), and then I'm going to be doing some more ship training.

And that's where I've got some decisions to make.

You see, I feel like I've "done" the small ship thing. I've had dozens and dozens of kills in T1 frigates, Assault Ships, and Interceptors. I've messed about with Bombers. I've flown Covert Ops to scan down ships. The only thing I haven't really done with frigates is Electronic Warfare, and everyone largely agrees that these ships are a waste of time. So, when I start playing again, I'd like to use a slightly larger hull.

Now, in my ideal world, I'd be flying Khanid ships like the Sacrilege or the Heretic. Sadly, my wallet does not allow me to lose such ships, so I'm going to be flying something T1. I'm no big fan of turrets, though (and I'd have to invest loads of time in just getting my gunnery skills up to par), so I'm left with a few obvious choices: Drake, Caracal, Arbitrator.

I'm going to put the Drake aside for now. I can actually fly one already, and I have one in my hangar for those times that the corp needs to form a BC fleet. But I want to focus on a roaming ship, and the pilots I know that focus on BCs generally roam a very small area, because BCs don't travel well on their own (they get camped fairly easily). I'm not yet ready to give up the 30+ jump roams that I've been used to as a frigate pilot.

And if I'm honest, I like flying a non-standard ship in pvp. Drakes, along with the Hurricane, are about as standard as you get.

That pushes me towards a cruiser hull, and neither the Caracal nor the Arbitrator are turret ships. The Arbitrator is beautiful ship, and the Amarr Cruiser skills would translate VERY well into a Sacrilege or Pilgrim at some point. Being armor tanked, however, it's not got the best ability to navigate gate camps, nor a particularly strong tank. Ewar would be something completely new to me, though, which might make things interesting.

The Caracal, on the other hand, moves in a completely different direction. Accepting that it's purely a frigate hunting ship, it can actually engage on gates and stations because of it's hefty tank and missiles (drones don't do so well under station guns!). That tank also helps me burn back to gates, and those shield skills help boost my Drake.

I'm going to have a think over the next few days, but my Nav skill finishes on Sunday, so I need to make a decision by then. Comments regarding the pros and cons of these cruisers as solo low sec roamers are welcomed.

By the way, it feels good to be back, if only in a small way.


  1. Welcome back, I'm excited to see knew posts here!

  2. You will find the whole playing field for frigates has been shaken up somewhat. Like an old bottle of soda that has been sat on a shelf for years, somebody just grabbed it and shook up the content and when it settles it will be shaken up again.

    This means it is great fun at the moment flying frigates, places like Placid are currently hopping with targets. However, saying all that, if you do opt for the Caracal you can obviously put it to good use against all these new frigate fiends. I used to hate engaging a well-fit and well-flown Caracal in any frig.


  3. Cruisers are underwhelming to me. They don't have much more firepower than the new AF's and get crushed by BCs.

    I do agree with Miura that the frig landscape now is wide open. The Hawk is incredible and the vengeance with a nos can hold point even under two medium nuets.

    If you are dead set on a cruiser hull I would go with the arbitrator. Its kind of like a boa constrictor that slowly suffocates its prey. It also leads into the pilgrim which sounds like a great deal of fun to fly and hunt missioners and wormholers with.

    Training amarr cruiser will also lead to the sacrilege which fits in nicely with the new tusker gang format.

  4. The Caracal need not be only a frigate killing device. Even as far back as two years ago, a friend demonstrated a HAM caracal to me with triple shield extenders. It was quite tough to chew through. Killing BCs with it though, probably out of the question. You could manage to kill a BC with an Arbitrator, provided the tracking disruptor of course.

    Even though Drakes and Canes are common, they are still great ships to fly around. I'm finding that with the Cane, having a good fit is relatively easy, allowing me to focus on other things like improving my decision making. As for getting blobbed or camped in a Cane, it's true that it happens, but again it seems as piloting can save you.

    For example, last night I went to play just north of SAH-, and found myself getting blobbed and then camped by a t1 cruiser gang with a blackbird and tackle support. I warped off, drawing some tackle away, then warped back to the outgate, jumped out and escaped without any issues. Had there not been a Blackbird, I could have taken the t1 cruiser gang, maybe even killed the ratting sacrilege I came across. Instead I got away and found a juicy Talos to smash.

    Just a thought, but maybe consider a Ferox? It can be either a blaster boat, or a missile boat, and it's definitely still thought of garbage to the extent that people will jump at the chance to engage it. You can fit an impressive buffer/resist tank on it, or a resist/active tank as well. I fit blasters because of my gunnery skills, but I can see it working well as a missile boat too. It almost seems like it might be the Cylone to the Drake's Hurricane.

    Last thing: If you're willing to roam in different areas of 0.0, I can point you to two areas where roaming in a BC won't be such a big deal. Blood Raider space (ie UHKL is my base there) is a good one with TEST to the north, Red Alliance to the east, and Nulli to the South. Out around Paala <-> LXQ- is another good place as there are a few new 0.0 alliances taking space out there, so they aren't exactly leet PvP. They will fight though, so it's a perfect place to go.

  5. When talking missile ships and cruiser class the Caracal is just about the only real option unfortunately. The Ferox is an excellent suggestion if you are looking for something other than a Drake in the BC range. While not as effective as the Drake the Ferox does offer some versatility and some decent options.

    Turrets are just about the only option though once you move out of frigates. So many ships in cruiser and BC range that have great turret setups. The Vexor, Thorax, Moa, Rupture, and Celestis all have value.

  6. Welcome back (kinda) - hope you get back in game properly soon!

  7. Just wanted to say thank you for this blog. I've been out of eve for many years, never did any pvp before but that's all I want now. Your blog has been the most helpful source of information I've found. It's really hard to find info on Amarr specifically because everyone's advice is "fly mini instead." But I love Amarr. So thank you very very much!